How it Works
Building the Database
National FIA Spatial Data Services staff will access
a database containing sample locations for all base Phase 2 grid
FIA plots which are included in the FIADB (FIAs national
database). In addition, Phase 3 plots will be available as well.
These sample locations will be obtained from the FIADB application
housed at North Central FIA. Procedures will be developed to keep
the local database up to date.
A series of other national base GIS layers, including
the hexagonal grids for Phase 2 and Phase 3 plots and other layers
deemed relevant will be assembled.
INITIATING A REQUEST.
All requests are to be made in writing and will include:
a. Contact information for the requester;
b. Full description of the product desired;
c. Justification as to why exact spatial locations
are needed in order to accomplish the intended work;
d. Statement that the requester agrees to provide
appropriate acknowledgment or citation to the FIA program for
all uses of any delivered products.
Requests should be directed to
National FIA Spatial Data Services
Attn: Elizabeth LaPoint
Northeastern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
REVIEWING A REQUEST.
Requests will be reviewed and a determination of whether the request
will be fulfilled will be made. The review will consider
a. Whether, in the opinion of the staff, the requester
truly needs access to exact coordinates in order to accomplish
their objective or whether other tools exist to address the request;
b. Whether the data necessary to address the request
is on hand or can be obtained; and
c. Whether the capacity exists to address the request
in a reasonable time frame.
We reserve the right to decline to process any request.
If a request is declined, the requester will be notified in writing.
If other tools exist (e.g. MapMaker) which can address a rejected
request, the requester will be informed.
APPROVING A REQUEST.
Once a request is approved for processing by National FIA SDS
staff, then permission will be sought from to proceed from the
Regional FIA Program(s) whose data are the subject of the request.
Requests spanning more than one Regional FIA Program must be cleared
by each affected Program before the request can be completed.
Each involved Regional FIA Program will at their
discretion choose one of the following options.
a. Deny the request, in which case the requester
will be notified by FIA SDS staff;
b. Approve the request and choose to perform the
necessary work themselves, in which case the requester will be
referred to the Regional FIA Program office;
c. Approve the request and authorize the request
to proceed. If processing the request requires additional data
from the Regional FIA Program beyond what is already available,
then the Regional FIA Program agrees to provide those data.
SERVICING A REQUEST.
Once granted appropriate approvals, the Service Center will produce
the requested deliverables including an explanation of the processing
steps and pertinent metadata. The product will also include an
acknowledgment or citation to be used by the requester for giving
appropriate credit to the FIA program. Deliverables will be distributed
in various formats, including, FTP, email and compact disc. The
requester agrees to acknowledge in any publication the assistance
of the National FIA SDS and the Regional FIA programs involved
with the request. Additionally, the requester should use the following
format for citation of the FIA data itself:
USDA Forest Service. 2000. Forest inventory and
analysis national core field guide, volume 1: Field data collection
procedures for phase 2 plots, version 1.6. USDA Forest Service,
Internal report. On file at USDA Forest Service, Washington Office,
Forest Inventory and Analysis, Washington, D.C.
a. Upon completion, the deliverables will be reviewed
to ensure that they in no way disclose FIA sample locations.
b. After security review by National FIA SDS staff,
deliverables will be sent to the Regional FIA Program(s) designated
representative for security and quality review.
c. After review and approval by the Regional FIA
Program, deliverables will be delivered to the requester by either
the Regional FIA Program or, at the discretion of the Regional
FIA Program, by the SDS staff.
Supplying a quality product is critical to the FIA
Spatial Data Services mission. Methods of ensuring quality will
include: tracking and review of data processing procedures; review
by both the NE FIA GIS staff and the requesting Units staff;
customer feedback; and a project specific quality assurance checklist.
National FIA Spatial Data Services will work with
customers who would like to more directly utilize the FIA plot
information at the headquarters in Newtown Square, PA. We will
attempt to provide the customer with a workspace, computer and
GIS software access, and information on lodging and transportation.
Any customer coming into direct contact with the plot information
will be under supervision of SDS staff at all times, and will
be forbidden from creating a copy of plot information for any
use outside of the building. Requests for site visits will be
evaluated based on space availability and the availability of
SDS staff, and will be subject to the same procedures identified
above under Data Request Procedures.
We are currently involved in formulating our security
plan with the help of a security consultant from a local IT consulting
group. In addition to standard Windows 2000 security settings,
we are considering the following: